When I sat down to write our 2022 trends article this year, I couldn’t stop thinking about a line of dialogue from Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises”. “How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked. “Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually, then suddenly.”
If you sold real estate over the last two years, you know why this passage came to mind. If you’re a journalist just looking for a scoop, I can break it down for you: massive change, lightning speed.
A Historic Year for Realtors
From his perch on the National Association of Realtors (NAR) stage, our real estate coach and technologist Chris Linsell noted just some of the trends that switched into ludicrous mode—seemingly overnight. Zillow stumbled while suburbs boomed. Remote workers reshaped markets and bidding wars became front-page news.
Inflation, supply chains, and spending bills either spelled doomsday for the market or a historic boom—depending on which pundit you listened to. With all this change, predicting what 2022 has in store is daunting, to say the least, but it’s a challenge we signed up for.
We reached out to the smartest real estate thought leaders we know and asked them a simple question: “What’s the biggest trend real estate agents should look out for in 2022 and how can they pivot their business to meet it?” Here’s what they told us:
Agent Branding Will Matter More Than Ever in 2022
Ryan Serhant, Founder & CEO of SERHANT.
“We are living in a digital-first world and our online feeds are becoming oversaturated, cluttered, and overwhelming. For agents to break through the crowd and grow their business—today, in 2022, and beyond—authenticity and genuine connection are more important than ever. Agents need to use their online presence to position themselves as trusted partners. A clear, compelling, memorable personal brand built on YOU is the most important marketing strategy that will help any agent cut through the noise and stand out in a sea of salespeople in their market. People hate being sold, but they love shopping with friends—this is more true now than it’s ever been.
“Having a memorable personal brand has also never been easier, thanks to the power of social media. Agents just need the blueprint. I’ve figured out the secret sauce as I worked my way to becoming the most-followed real estate brand in the world over the past 13 years and I’ve broken it down into three steps:
- Understand your core identity
- Share consistent content
- Shout your successes from the mountaintop
“The Serhant Brand Strategy System will be taught in the latest Sell It Like Serhant course, How to Build Your Personal Brand.”
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About Ryan Serhant
Ryan Serhant is one of the most successful and well-known real estate brokers in the world. After spending a decade leading one of New York City’s top-ranked real estate teams, he founded SERHANT., a brokerage firm that drives success through innovative content and amplification.
The Serhant Team consisted of more than 60 experienced agents and marketing support staff. Ranked the #1 Sales Team in New York by the WSJ for three straight years and among the top teams in the nation for the better part of a decade, The Serhant Team closed over $4 billion in sales across New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. The team was coined “The Closers” by many in the industry, as they were able to sell the “unsellable” and achieve price-per-square-foot records across the city.
In 2020, Ryan founded SERHANT., the first real estate company launched and designed for the marketplace of tomorrow. With in-house film production and branding capabilities, combined with a tech-powered innovation platform, SERHANT. has revolutionized the traditional brokerage model.
In addition to his work in real estate, Ryan is an entrepreneur, producer, public speaker, bestselling author, and star of multiple BRAVO TV shows. He is a frequent guest on the real estate segments of CNBC, CNN, 20/20, The Today Show, The Insider, Bloomberg TV, and is often quoted in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. He is also an official contributor to Forbes, regularly writing columns on real estate, sales, and branding.
Ryan was born in Houston, Texas, grew up outside Boston, and graduated from Hamilton College in 2006. He currently lives in SoHo, New York, with his wife, Emilia, and their daughter, Zena.
Ryan is an active supporter of nonprofit organizations, including DKMS, Operation Smile, Save the Children, Make-A-Wish, The Human Rights Campaign, Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, Pink Agenda, and UNICEF, among others.
Better Tech Will Widen the Gap Between Top Agents & Everyone Else
Alyssa Brody, ESQ., Co-founder of Development Marketing Team
“We believe that new technology will continue to be an evolving trend in 2022. The real estate industry is poised for explosive growth given the increasing number of tech tools and property technology companies entering the space. We believe that the utilization of digital services, such as digital marketing, will be a widening trend in the year ahead.
Though digital marketing has always been a core tenet of our approach, new tech tools have allowed us to expand further, tracking data in real time and making informed decisions about both the marketing and sales of real estate properties. We have been able to generate high-quality leads from this approach, and we believe that as more agents and brokers invest in digital marketing, they will start to utilize data and analytics in a purposeful way that will help to more effectively sell real estate.”
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Inventory, Drop in Value Investments & Interest Rates Will Continue to Shape the Market
Michael Nourmand, President of Nourmand & Associates
“Too little or too much inventory, drop in value investments, and a sharp rise in interest rates are the biggest concerns. For buyers looking at purchasing in 2022, these three factors will be the biggest red flags and could potentially derail a successful real estate market for next year. Inventory in the 4th quarter of 2021 was extremely low, and it looks like this is going to continue into 2022. Therefore, I would recommend that buyers purchase property now because I don’t see inventory getting better in the short term. Consumer price index just came in at 6.2%, which is the biggest surge in more than 30 years, so I anticipate that interest rates are going to increase soon to curb inflation. Unless you are a cash buyer, now is the time to buy.
“I think agents should show their clients what their monthly payments would be if interest rates go up ½%, ¾%, or 1%. They will see that their buying power will decrease.”
About Michael Nourmand
Michael Nourmand is the President of Nourmand & Associates Realtors. He loves his career, and his enthusiasm is contagious. Michael prides himself on being a hard-working professional and skilled negotiator.
Michael is a second-generation, high-end broker who focuses on selling estates, condos, and income properties throughout Los Angeles. He knows the local inventory because he makes a concerted effort to view as many properties as possible. He reads a number of real estate publications, so he is current on market trends and statistics.
Michael understands the many facets of the real estate business because he has purchased, managed, and developed real estate for his own portfolio. He obtained his real estate license in 2000 and his broker’s license in 2006. He is an invaluable real estate source who can help you stay clear of common problems.
Michael has been quoted as a real estate expert in articles that have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Business Journal, LA Times, BH Courier, Real Deal, and Realtor Magazine.
Michael is a local product of Beverly Hills. He was born and raised there, and is a Beverly Hills High School Alumni. During his tenure at Beverly Hill High School, he was on the swim team and captain of the water polo team. He got his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. He participated in the Career Advantage Mentoring Program and graduated from USC magna cum laude with an emphasis in international business. As part of his studies, he spent a semester at the Budapest University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration. This program had students from all over the world, and it’s where he became very familiar with other cultures and traditions as well as how businesses are run internationally.
Michael is very active in the local community. He is a past Director of the Beverly Hills Greater Los Angeles Association of Realtors and California Association of Realtors. He was a past speaker at Beverly Hills High School’s Career day, so current Beverly Hills High School students can learn about the residential real estate industry. Michael is also a past board member of the Sunset & Vine Business Improvement District. The board of directors for the Sunset & Vine BID (known as the Central Hollywood Coalition, or CHC) consists of a group of property owners and/or representatives.
His involvement also encompasses philanthropic work. He serves on the Board for the Beverly Hills Athletic Alumni Association, which raises money for Beverly Hills High School’s Athletic Department. He is a member of the prestigious Beverly Hill’s Rotary Club, which raises money for both local and international causes. In addition, he regularly donates money to USC, Warner Avenue Elementary, AIPAC, JVS, Los Angeles LGBT Center, and other worthy causes.
Notable accolades for Michael: Variety Showbiz Real Estate Elite List, LA Business Journal Who’s Brokering Los Angeles, Rismedia Real Estate Newsmakers – 2019 Trendsetters, LA Magazine Top Real Estate Professionals, Finalist for the Beverly Hills Courier’s Readers Choice Award for Best Real Estate Agent in Beverly Hills, and he was selected as one of REALTOR Magazine’s “30 under 30” for 2010.
Successful Realtors Will Make Their Business Social, Surprising & Should Focus on the Scarce
- Social: It’s really difficult for mega-brokerages to be as ingrained in the neighborhoods they’re competing in as you, the local expert. Lean on this strength, both digitally (hello, social media strategy) and in person (the coffee date should be a weekly thing this year).
- Surprising: Zillow’s (and others like it) success is based in large part on consistency and automation, but they fall short when it comes to spontaneous, surprise-and-delight opportunities. Look for ways to get the wow factor of the unexpected this year; it will pay off in spades.
- Scarce: The major real estate corporations focus on mass markets. While you want to be visible to all, you want to be the expert to your specific niche. Get into and dominate a scarce niche (condos, especially those with short-term-rental options are my pick this year) and be the master. You’re never going to compete for the entire city’s business, and you don’t want to.”
About Chris Linsell
As a Senior Writer and Real Estate Coach for The Close, Chris is one of our resident experts on real estate topics ranging from marketing, lead generation, transactional best practices, and everything in between. As a licensed agent in the state of Michigan, Chris has been a part of hundreds of transactions from modest rural starter homes to massive waterside compounds. When he isn’t writing, you’ll find Chris fly fishing the trout streams of Michigan or on the stage in his community theater’s latest production.
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WATCH: Inman Connect 2021—Real Estate Tech Leaders Predict Trends for 2022
When he isn’t coaching agents or presenting at NAR, Chris Linsell heads to real estate conferences—so you don’t have to. This year, he interviewed five real estate tech leaders to get their take on what 2022 will bring for agents.
Realtors Who Create Local Content That Highlights Lifestyle Will Get More Leads
Krista Nickols, Associate Broker, SERHANT.
“The importance of hyper-local neighborhood videos and activations in 2022. The best agents will lean into lifestyle perks and the importance of producing fresh and local content. With buyers purchasing sight unseen or requesting videos prior to setting up showings (often due to busy schedules during the holidays), it is more important than ever for agents to get creative with their marketing materials. At a new development in the FiDi, Jolie, we’ve put together a few out-of-the-box series and activations that showcase the neighborhood.
“This week we are inviting guests for a ‘Taste of FiDi,’ where we will showcase our top restaurant picks in this thriving neighborhood (this will also be filmed and shared on our Instagram feed). If agents take the time to make their content exciting and up-to-date, then clients and prospectives will continue to check back at their feeds and listing pages to see what’s coming up. You never know what can translate into a sale!”
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Agents Who Focus on Short-Form Video Will Thrive
Eric Simon, LA Realtor, Founder of The Broke Agent
“The biggest trend agents should look out for is social media’s continuing shift to short-form, high-quality, vertical video. Agents must evolve with major platforms and focus on producing entertaining/educational content. If your posts aren’t immediately capturing attention or providing value, they will receive little to no engagement and your social media presence will be overshadowed by the agents who go all-in on video. ‘Just Solds’ and ‘Just Listed’ posts will no longer get the job done as users will scroll right by content that is not keeping them entertained. In order for agents to succeed in 2022, they must produce consistent, high-quality video on all platforms to stay top of mind and relevant to their clients and prospects.”
About Eric Simon
As a newly licensed real estate agent in Los Angeles, I had no idea what the hell to do. I cold called, door knocked, and sat dead open houses every Saturday and Sunday to no success. So, I did what I always do when I fail at something: make fun of it. I escaped to social media as @TheBrokeAgent, where I began posting the inner monologue of an anonymous, struggling real estate agent. Luckily, the content quickly gained traction, as @TheBrokeAgent stood out as a refreshing voice among an oversaturated marketplace of luxury agents, sales gurus, and assholes.
After six years of memes, GIFs, skits, comics, blogs, and now a podcast, the Broke Agent brand has evolved into a media company with over half a million followers across all major platforms. Our goal is to make real estate agents laugh through the daily stress of the industry and also help improve their business through our community and content platform. Today I continue to sell real estate on the west side of Los Angeles and run the daily operations of The Broke Agent. My focus is on growing the brand and continuing to be the go-to source for real estate entertainment, podcasting, marketing, and eventually news.
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Consumers Will Have More Access to Data Than Ever Before
Sam DeBord, CEO at Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO)
About Sam DeBord
Sam DeBord is CEO of the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO). He has served as President’s Liaison for MLS and Data Management with the National Association of REALTORS®, managing broker for Coldwell Banker Danforth, a REACH Mentor, and a director for NAR, Second Century Ventures, and California Regional MLS.
Sam began his career as a management consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers. He is a recognized real estate industry writer for publications including REALTOR® Magazine, Inman News, and the Axiom Business Books award-winning Swanepoel Trends Report.
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Agents Will Need Deeper Market Knowledge to Compete
Lisa Lippman, Associate Broker, Brown Harris Stevens, Manhattan
“Buyers are open to all property types, so now more than ever, brokers need to be knowledgeable about the nuances of the market’s inventory to best serve their clients. In New York City specifically, there are fewer buyers who only want a co-op or only a condo. While previous buyers pivoted toward condos, I think we will see a swing back because buyers are feeling that the condo inventory is priced too high, and they are recognizing the value in co-ops. We will also see a continued focus on home offices and spaces that can be carved out within a home. Looking beyond COVID, people have gotten used to working from home and want these dedicated spaces.”
About Lisa Lippman
Number 1 broker at Brown Harris Stevens for the last five years, and recognized for delivering unparalleled service and results with the ultimate level of discretion, care, and knowledge, Lisa has established herself within the highest caliber of New York City real estate. With over 24 years of industry experience and consistently one of the top-producing agents in Manhattan and the nation, Lisa specializes in helping discerning clientele buy and sell high-end cooperatives, condominiums, and townhomes throughout Manhattan.
Buyers and sellers seek her out for her exceptional marketing skills, laser focus, incredible memory, and personal attention to every detail important to them. In addition to her exceptional resale business, Lisa also actively works with developers and sponsors, who similarly seek her out for her comprehensive knowledge of current market conditions and trends affecting market value— knowledge Lisa has cultivated from successfully working with buyers and sellers day after day. In her work with developers and sponsors, Lisa has successfully launched, marketed, and sold out some of the most exciting new development and conversion projects.
In real estate—as in her previous career as a successful lawyer—Lisa focuses on her clients’ interests, prioritizing their privacy and ensuring they achieve their goals. With an outstanding record of achievement, Lisa wholeheartedly welcomes the challenge of providing complete client satisfaction. Even in tougher markets, she excels at smoothly navigating clients through any roadblock that arises, all the way to a successful closing. It is because of Lisa’s honesty, integrity, and extensive knowledge of properties and the nuances of a transaction, combined with her dedication to her clients’ success, that they choose to work with her time and time again.
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Capital Investment From Overseas Will Increase
Pierre Debbas, ESQ., Managing Partner of Romer Debbas LLP
“Foreign Capital: Going into the end of 2021, we are seeing an increase in interest from overseas investors now that the travel restrictions have been lifted. Demand from abroad should continue to steadily increase, which will almost certainly benefit every sector of the real estate market. It remains to be seen whether concerns of inflation and the general stability of our economy will deter capital from overseas from entering our market or whether the bull run that housing, multi-family, and industrial real estate have had in 2021 will be viewed as an investment to hedge against further global inflation.”
Over to You
What do you think 2022 has in store for real estate agents? Let us know in the comments.